Later On

A blog written for those whose interests more or less match mine.

Archive for October 27th, 2009

Erector set for grownups—and really useful

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Fantastic stuff. Check out the site:

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Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2009 at 1:41 pm

Posted in Daily life

Rare White Lion Cubs Make Their Debut

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From Treehugger (and more info at the link):

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Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2009 at 11:22 am

Posted in Daily life

Important news: US official resigns over war in Afghanistan

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The war is a counter-productive and is not winnable. We should learn from the past and get out of there, but we won’t: we’re in the clutches of imperial ambition. (See the Chalmers Johnson talk Speaking Freely Vol 4: Chalmers Johnsons.) Karen DeYoung in the Washington Post:

When Matthew Hoh joined the Foreign Service early this year, he was exactly the kind of smart civil-military hybrid the administration was looking for to help expand its development efforts in Afghanistan.

A former Marine Corps captain with combat experience in Iraq, Hoh had also served in uniform at the Pentagon, and as a civilian in Iraq and at the State Department. By July, he was the senior U.S. civilian in Zabul province, a Taliban hotbed.

But last month, in a move that has sent ripples all the way to the White House, Hoh, 36, became the first U.S. official known to resign in protest over the Afghan war, which he had come to believe simply fueled the insurgency.

"I have lost understanding of and confidence in the strategic purposes of the United States’ presence in Afghanistan," he wrote Sept. 10 in a four-page letter to the department’s head of personnel. "I have doubts and reservations about our current strategy and planned future strategy, but my resignation is based not upon how we are pursuing this war, but why and to what end."

The reaction to Hoh’s letter was immediate. Senior U.S. officials, concerned that they would lose an outstanding officer and perhaps gain a prominent critic, appealed to him to stay…

Continue reading. And also read Glenn Greenwald’s take on this.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2009 at 9:58 am

Drug law reform is about deficits and finite resources

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David Sirota:

The story of drug policy is often told through the lens of hypocrisy and potential revenues. How contradictory is it for us to legalize and promote alcohol, but ban marijuana? And at a time of deficits, how much public revenue could we generate by legalizing marijuana and taxing it?

These are important points – but just as significant are the two other questions that don’t get much attention: How much public money are we now wasting by criminalizing marijuana, and how much is that criminalization endangering our security?

I raise these questions not just to highlight how much the prison-industrial complex’s "zero tolerance" drug laws are making us spend on incarcerating non-violent drug offenders, but to additionally highlight how huge a chunk of law enforcement resources are now going to enforce drug laws – rather than to protect our communities.

At a national level, we know, for instance, that much of the resources being plowed into using the Patriot Act are being used not to fight terrorism, but to enforce prohibitionist drug laws. This trend is now bleeding into local law enforcement operations as well. Case in point is the massive anti-pot operation here in Colorado. In a state so choked by budget deficits that we’re slashing our police force to the bone, our law enforcement officials are spending huge amounts of public money busting pot grow houses.

Remember, these are finite resources – creating a huge task force aimed at stopping pot growers means we can’t, say, create a similarly sized task force aimed at investigating securities fraud or even stopping violent street crime.

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2009 at 9:46 am

A Netflix for books

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The Eldest points out, a subscription serve that lets you check out books indefinitely with no late charges. The Netflix idea, but for books. May be worth a try. I would have LOVED this in the little town where I grew up: no library.

Important note: Rentals include textbooks.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2009 at 8:58 am

Posted in Books, Business, Daily life

Durance L’òme

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I do like Durance L’òme’s sea-buckthorn shaving soap in its cool porcelain bowl, and the Omega Syntex brush lathered it as though the two were made for each other. I don’t think I’ve ever had better lather from this soap.

The Merkur Progress with a still-newish Astra Keramik Platinum blade, did a very smooth job, and Mr. Taylor’s aftershave is a favorite. Very good start to the day.

Written by LeisureGuy

27 October 2009 at 8:55 am

Posted in Shaving

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